Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.
Living Psalm 66: Easter 6 A
When the world was first formed,
we knew without yet having heard
the words God saw that it was good
that it was so.
God’s grace shone brilliantly,
the sun in the sky, the rain,
and the plants reaching up
to rejoice in it all.
We knew that it was good.
We began to sing praises, to bathe
in the storms, dig in the dirt,
nourish our bodies with the richness
of God’s grace. We reveled in abundance
and raised our voices to reflect the awesomeness
of God’s love, and the goodness of the earth.
And then the floods came, and the fires.
The earth raged against our yoke,
struggled to free itself from the burden
of our unending necessities.
We cried out to God to release us
from the horrors we brought upon ourselves,
and we suffered.
We ignored the signs, and it all
got worse. Children stood to fight
for what their parents failed to protect,
and then even their voices were stilled
by the sickness that silenced the world.
We failed God’s tests of compassion
for each other, for our breathtaking,
singular, extraordinary world.
We prayed for rescue
from the mess we made
and no one answered, it seemed,
until it all stopped. We took a fearful breath
and saw hands reach into the swirling storm drains,
feet rushing back into the flames
when the ground beneath them was charred
and seemed beyond saving.
We saw those who have been given the least
standing tall against an invisible enemy
so that we might breathe, eat, pray, teach.
The scales fell from our eyes so
that we might witness God’s work
on earth, the rebuilding by those who
are resolute and afraid. Answering the call,
inviting each of us to do more than pray -
they are the holy, living strength around us -
a reminder that there is good,
and God is with us still.
Living Psalm 1, for Epiphany 6 C, was written by Maria Mankin.
Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.
Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.
© Copyright 2019 Maria Mankin. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.